Hello Global Couture! Alexis Jones here and I am a New York City girl born and raised. Currently, I am a cancer researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. I love science and medicine and being actively involved in community outreach. Every year I sponsor a health fair in my community in the Bronx, NY through my initiative called Parkchester Cares. When I am not being scientific, I do enjoy dabbling into fashion! Fashion is such a creative outlet for me and I feel it helps you develop into the unique individual you were destined to be.
How long have you been natural?
I have been fabulously natural for 7 years! I can’t even believe it has been that long already. I decided to go natural sometime in 2005 and after about 7-9 months of transitioning, I did my Big Chop in April 2006.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
The declining health of my hair was the biggest motivator for me to make a change. I transitioned first because I wanted to have some length before chopping out the relaxed parts. I started relaxing my hair when I was 13 and I decided to stop when I was 20, so over those 7 years I really noticed how thin my hair became and how hard it was for me to retain length. I was very frustrated with having to cut my hair off every 2 years due to extreme damage. I just wanted to stop the cycle I was going through and learn to accept the hair I was born with and more importantly learn how to properly care for it. It was a lot about self-acceptance but also about realizing I could wear my hair any way I wanted to without looking for the easy way out which, for me, was to relax it.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
My journey was difficult at first and easy now that it has been 7 years. Of course right after my big chop, I covered my hair in light brown and blonde highlights via bleaching! Clearly, I did not know how to take care of my hair at first. That was the most memorable part for me. I just went crazy once I had all virgin hair again. Did not realize that dyeing could be just as damaging if you don’t take care of it. It has absolutely taken me the entire 7 years to understand what I needed to do to keep my hair strong. I haven’t dyed my hair since then but I am thinking about it now and the outcome will for sure be a lot better.
What are were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles and current dos?
There were nowhere near as many resources for transitioning back in 2005-2006 as there are now. So while I was transitioning I did what I knew best at the time and that was to do roller sets, buns with headbands, and braids. Currently, a lot of my favorite dos’ are also transitioning styles. I love love LOVE two-strand twists. I can wear them for over a week at a time and I usually wear them pinned up. I am also obsessed with mini roller sets and head wraps and scarves.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Don’t want to put this person on blast but I must (haha!). I was dating someone when I did my big chop and he absolutely hated it. He preferred me with long straight locks and did not appreciate my short curly fro. I was very offended. My hair does not define me. It is just hair. I was still the same person just rocking a different do’. Best part of this story is, now, 7 years later, I ran into him and found out he works right across the street from me! And what was his reaction to my now longer and bigger curly fro? He LOVES it and tells me I look gorgeous. Not sure how sincere it was but it was such a memorable experience nonetheless.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My hair regimen is simple. And I believe because it is so simple, it has allowed me to keep it strong and retain length.
3 weeks of wash’N gos and 1 week of protective styling. Deep condition every week.
The breakdown Wash N Go routine:
– Co-wash using Devacare one condition or (my new love) Shea Moisture restorative conditioner. I use Shea Moisture’s moisture retention shampoo once a month to remove product buildup. I rinse my hair with COLD water before detangling to calm the hair shaft down.
– Detangle with wide-tooth comb in sections and use a leave in conditioner. Either Kinky Curly Knot-today or Cantu shea butter leave in.
– Apply product again in sections (I make 4 sections). My favorite stylers are Kinky Curly Curling Custard and the pink eco-styler gel mixed with organic aloe vera juice.
– I wear the pineapple at night so my hair can last at least 4-5 days with the wash’n go.
-Always two-strand twists and I use shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie and the curling soufflé to make the twists.
– I use the following and interchange them: Redken smooth down butter treat, Carols Daughter Monoi repairing conditioner, Alter ego garlic mask, Queen Helene cholesterol hot oil treatment, miss Jessie’s super sweetback treatment.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
My favorite website is naturallycurly.com and I love many youtubers but, my favorites are Taren916, mllecafeaulait, and haircrush.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Learning what works best for your hair takes time and effort. Don’t be discouraged and don’t give up if your planning to transition. We all have been there and take the time to reach out when you need to. Whether your natural or relaxed or need to start over from other hair damaging processes, make sure you are happy with what you do and with yourself and with being in your own skin because at the end of the day that is all that matters.
Where can people find you for more information?
You can reach me on:
Twitter and Instagram @jonesin4jonesy
My site: www.jonesin4jonesy.com
Thank you so much Global Couture! Xoxoxo Jonesy
I love your pictures Alexis! #myhaircrsuh I love when I find someone that has a similar curl pattern!